The Police Are Paramilitary Thugs

Published On February 19, 2013 | By CopBlock | Articles

Submitted by Daniel Luke

In America, our cops are becoming less and less distinguishable from the security apparati of 1970s-era petty dictatorships in Central and South America. Where once they wore uniforms which were appropriate to civil servants, albeit ones with guns, they now don the habiliments of what more closely resembles a paramilitary organization, and they have the bullying, menacing, we’re-above-the-law attitudes to go along with them. These attitudes are demonstrated in this video,  which unambiguously shows one such paramilitary — what point is there in referring to them any longer as “cops” since that term suggests a civil role? –Seizing a video recording device from an innocuous bystander. The transparently absurd justification for the seizure was that the device contained evidence that the person being arrested was “resisting”, and therefore, they were entitled to take it.

Imagine, then, a massive protest. On such an occasion, innumerable people would be recording video as events unfolded. If the justification of the Gresham, Oregon police department is allowed to stand, that would mean that the recording devices at such an event could be seized by the police en masse should any arrests be made (inevitable, of course) under the pretext of gathering “evidence”.

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  • Radical Dude

    So was the guy being arrested just for resisting arrest itself, without even an underlying allegation?

  • http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/havamal.html Odin Allfather

    Just a friendly reminder to all those LEOs out there.
    You have to live in OUR communities, your families must reside in OUR communities, your children go to the schools and playgrounds in OUR communites.
    Today we shoot you with cameras, tomorrow we shoot you with bullets.
    Our tolerance for your thuggery is growing thinner each day.

    Just a friendly reminder.
    Be aware and Beware

    -Woton

  • Pete Malloy

    Who approves this shit? How is this related in any way to police accountability? This is a bullshit name calling tantrum. Here let me help foster real accountability. How can someone be arrested for resisting arrest if there was nothing to arrest on? Does this statute read like an obstruction charge whereby the individual being arrested disobeyed a lawful command and thus was being arrested for resisting? How often are these arrests made and what is the conviction rate? Holy shit, I just questioned a police practice without a single d bag piece of rhetoric! Ps, thanks toPete for driving all around the country in an a gas gussling SUV which you make a point if naming. Real accountable, pissing away non renewable resources. Try public transportation next time jackass, or maybe a car that doesn’t get two feet to the gallon

  • slappy

    She caught evidence on her phone. The police can take the phone for evidence. This happens a lot. One would think these idiot activists would have figured that out by now.

  • t.

    Sadly, no. They don’t get it.

  • Knows Open

    No, the guidelines given don’t include seizure for minor crimes and especially those circumstances where publicly funded employee misconduct is likely a subject of the video. You don’t get it.

  • Shawn

    @cops

    Sadly because it makes a nice excuse to steal and destroy evidence against cops. Far too often, the piglets ‘accidentally’ delete the video.
    But you go ahead and cheer that behavior. It only shows that your claim of believing in accountability is BS. You want to decide for yourselves when a cop is actually held to account. Usually only on Feb 30th.

  • Shawn

    @cops

    Have you missed that this is the modern world? A simple USB cable and the video can be copied in seconds and the recorder returned along with the film.

    I would love to subject you to the crap you do to others.

  • GuyFawkes

    Confiscating the entire phone for one file is like seizing a banks entire assets because you suspect there may be something criminal in a safety deposit box. It’s funny I don’t hear any copsuckers addressing the issue of what they were being arrested for.

  • Tim

    @GuyFawkes

    Please, for the sake of humanity, never ever ever ever write “safety deposit box” again.

    The term is a “Safe Deposit Box”. A “Deposit Box”… in a “Safe”.

  • Tim

    Unless you plan on putting into the deposit box pro-bowl Free Safety Earl Thomas or even Strong Safety LaRon Landry, then by all means, continue.

  • Dan Sayers

    @Pete Malloy: Very easily. If a cop doesn’t like what you’re doing, he’ll intervene whether he has the power to do so or not. If you do not comply, you will be slapped with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct. These are the catch-alls that are applied when no legitimate charged can be filed against somebody you REALLY want to show who is boss. Loitering is another one we’ve seen in regards to filming, as is obstruction. They rule by fear and force, so they’re not really required to keep it honest or good-intentioned. Nor are they incentivized to since, in the rare event they’re held accountable for their actions, the force may issue a settlement with tax payer money.

  • t.

    Ah, @Sayers. We don’t rule fool.

  • PSOSGT

    lol I love this. My dad’s 1st day on the job was in 1975. The only thing that has changed about a cops uniform in most places is the color and type of faberic used. And yes, over time we’ve added things to our belt… like radios, semi-auto pistols, battons verses night sticks, pepper spray, small flashlights and tasers.

    What we wear has very little to do was 1 incident in Oregon. As far as the video.. if the officer believed that the phone contain evidence. It’s in plain view, a clear exception to the search warrant rule. This also varries state to state. People need to realize that different states have different laws.

  • BJ

    @ PSOSGT, t.

    Given the fact that the incident took place on a crowded public street with multiple available witnesses, why was it necessary to strong arm one particular innocent bystander who had committed no crime when the so-called evidence that her phone may or may not have contained would have little to no bearing in obtaining a conviction?

  • Radical Dude

    Were they making an arrest in good faith, thinking they had a legit reason, and wanted eveidence, or was it a bogus arrest done in bad faith, and they wanted to make sure there wasn’t evidence of their own wrongdoing?
    It’s likely just a bogus arrest. Did they just arrest him for “resisting” without an underlying reason to make the arrest?

  • certain

    Really??? Your pops had fully automatic long guns in the trunk of his car in ’75? And flash-bangs and tasers? LOL. Cops lie even when there’s no point to it. Must be some kind of automatic reflex.

  • Shawn

    @PSOSGT

    We just had a video of a cop doing transit work in full combat gear with helmet, armor, and assault rifle. Day after day we can easily find images of cops decked out like they were in Iraq.

    And I wouldn’t exactly call the taser an improvement since a lot of cops are now using them as torture compliance devices instead of what they were designed for, an alternative to using a gun.

    And the switch to automatic arms has conditioned cops to go on mad minute attacks were rounds go anywhere. Last I heard, there were departments actually switching back to double action only arms to help control the mad minute mindset.

  • Steve H

    A camera is different than some other property the leos seize for exigent circumstances because the camera is protected by the 1st Amendment. A plethora of court decisions explain that the warrant requirement has to be followed with “scrupulious exactitude”. The correct procedure is to ask the videographer to wait until the leo obtains a warrant, which any judge in his right mind is going to tell the leo to pound sand unless the camera really did record a crime in progress which most of the time there isn’t one, just a police encounter.

  • t.

    Wow. Is this the video all the fuss has been about? Wow, any questions about are clearly answered on the video. Legal seizure. Heck, he even went about it in a nice way. If she a “police watchdog” you would think she should have rushed to let him see he video and provide a copy. Just email I’m a copy and its done. If not, we have to go the harder way.

    As for uniform and gear. The uniforms have changed very little…other than fabrics. The gear has changed to try and keep pace with the threats posed. In 17 years I think the only uniform change is I don’t wear a tie any more.

    As for gear…@shawn & certain:
    Where do you get that lots cops have “automatic arms”? Not even many SWAT teams have autos and I am unaware of any department that doesn’t have double action pistols. As for the guy all suited out on the subway….I seen the images and don’t know ( but neither do you ) if there is a threat specific requiring said gear. And very few departments outfit all officers with “long guns”. If they do, it’s a shotgun. A lot of the guys who do carry long guns have bought their own…it’s not departmental issue. Where are you veering this info? Someone is leading down the wrong road and lying to you. And what were do patrol officers carry flash bangs? I want to go work there, bangs are great fun.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    Deputy Convicted Of Raping 9 Year Old Girl; Also Faces Charges Of Raping Her 16 Year Old Sister:

    http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/crime/deputy-convicted-in-child-sex-case

  • BJ

    @ t.

    LOL I didn’t expect you to answer the question I posted earlier in the this thread.

    It’s funny how the police always caution the public to withhold judgement when a video is released telling us to wait until the totality of the situation can be fully told and yet you, a professed leo, dismiss any outcry this video may have caused after clearly only watching an edited version interspersed with commentary favorable towards the police. No wonder you don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

    Maybe PSOSGT or even Common Sense will answer my question.

  • Cookie

    What the spokesperson cop says to the reporter is completely wrong. No one has any expectation of privacy while in public, especially not a public officer while on duty, so it is not necessary to notify anyone that they’re being recorded. This has been upheld by every circuit court in the US, and the cops interpretation of wiretapping laws, struck down.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    Bear in mind BJ, the shills and trolls that infest Cop Block understand fully that they are on the losing team. They are desperately attempting to slow, in any small way that they are able, the groundswell of contempt the people have for law enforcement.

    One look at the over-the-top comments of common sense, t., psosgt and others will show that they suffer from desperation on the cusp of madness.

    ***POLICE OFFICER RAPES A THREE MONTH OLD INFANT AND A ONE YEAR OLD CHILD!***

    When you see common sense, t., underoath, psosgt and all the other shills spew their boot-licking propaganda here on Cop Block, remember, THIS IS WHO THEY ARE, THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DEFEND!

    Wichita KS police officer Officer Joseph T. McGill, 28, was convicted today of committing a sexual act on a 3-month-old child and a 1-year-old child. Officer McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 in an unrelated case to sexual battery while on duty as a police officer and was sentenced to three years probation. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in November 2010 and February 2011. The judge set sentencing for March 1. — http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/24/2649372/former-police-officer-convicted.html

    Training Cops to Lie: What’s at stake when police use deception to obtain evidence? Their career and the case. Val Van Brocklin writes about the state of the law and preparing officers for this complex and critical arena. — http://www.officer.com/article/10233095/training-cops-to-lie-pt-1

    “Gentlemen, let’s get this thing straight, once and for all. The policeman is not here to create disorder. The policeman is here to preserve disorder.” — Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago

  • t.

    BJ: Didn’t even see it. What would happen in that type of chaos? If I could locate and get ahold of the video…absolutely seize it. Remember, the “right” is to “peaceably assemble”. Why everyone wants to film their part in various crimes amazes me. We were just talking about our investigators finally looking into, following up on, and charging various kids who love to post “fight” videos online. And that’s just the start. People love to post all kinds of crimes they commit. The biggest problem is just time and manpower.

    Does that answer your question?

  • t.

    BJ: Sorry dude. I didn’t answer you right.

    If you watch…you can clearly see that he asks to see the video to see if it contains any evidence. Which, as a self described “police watchdog” who documents police activity…she should want to share. But setting that aside. As has already been pointed out, the perishable nature of the possible evidence allows for its seizure if there is PC to believe that the phone contains that video (rember she stood right there pointing the phone at the scene….pretty reasonable to believe that she filmed the incident).

    So since she wouldn’t agree to show him (in her presence BTW) he can seize the phone. Now he can “preview” the contents, as in he can look briefly into the files contained on the phone tosee if she did film the incident. From there he would need to seek a search warrant to view and copy the file. Now if hhe’s smart he’ll seek to search the entire phone. If she filmed this incident, she may have filmed more and there may be additional evidence of other crimes filmed.

    But as the video clearly shows…he didn’t “strong arm” her. He asks her first, and then siezes it. Its back to the perishable nature of the evidence. At businesses, we usually just ask them first if we can see their video and usually they will cut us a copy of it. On occasion, we will have to subpoena the video from them. The difference is that the business doesn’t just walk or drive away. It will be there tomorrow to subpeana if I need to. She on the other hand is an unknown who just walks away with no way to contact.

    Does that make sense? Its really not that unusual. People see and film stuff all the time. And as good citizens, they gladly share the info to either prove that the bad guy did it or show that he didn’t. It not really that much different than me interviewing you about what you saw as a bystander.

    Answered this time?

  • Common Sense

    after reading the comments, I’m disappointed, no one has mentioned ‘nazi’ or ‘jackboot’ yet….

  • Pete Malloy

    @t not that I would ever side with these whack jobs, but a lot of agencies are getting away from the traditional uniforms for load bearing vests. It has nothing to do with a military look and everything to do with health though. The average duty belt is twenty to twenty five pounds and over a long term it causes strain on the lower back and hips. There is data showing police officers suffer lower back and hip issues at an unusually high rate from it. It’s also impractical to sit in a car with all that gear on your waist. The average cop blocker won’t put in time to research that. For them it’s easier to just throw out over used slurs and talk shit. I don’t know why you waste your time brother, you’re just opening yourself up to trouble when one of these nuts starts stalking you. I do find the para military look of the lbv to be a but much, but finding a happy medium is difficult. I find a swat look on every traffic stop r wrong message, but no one should suffer unsafe working conditions for the sake of PR

  • Shawn

    @t

    Sorry, either you misread or are used to wrong terminology. I did not say full fun auto. I was talking about semi-auto pistols. And many of them are not double action, where the trigger squeeze draws back the hammer like on a revolver. Many autos cock the hammer as part of the chambering process, letting the shooter fire very easily.
    I don’t know about the ARs, but I doubt they are full fun either. Full fun auto has no place on the streets even in cop hands.

    As for the transit commando, if it was a one time thing, I’d agree with the possible threat. But it is getting more and more common to see that.

  • Shawn

    @pete

    Interesting that those who think cops need reigned in are automatically wack jobs, but cops shooting at paper delivery ladies and other innocents get defended and excused by cops everywhere. Your priorities are a little screwed up there.

    Lots of jobs deal with weight and back issues without leaving the locker room dressed like an action hero. Try learning from them.

  • t.

    Pete: We are actually looking at some sort external vest as well. And exactly for the reason you mention. We lose guys all the time to back injury and 100′s of thousands of taxpayer dollars go to pay for surgery every year. But even then, we will most likely end up with a “uniform” vest carry that looks identical to the shirt. But even the load bearing or “throw over” vests are a far cry from a tactical vest.

  • Shawn

    @Pete

    Oh, and PR does matter, or did you miss all those people rooting for Dorner?

    While I’m certainly more interested in cops knowing how to control use of forced and talk respectfully to the public more than I am in cops looking all pretty with pink ribbons, how a person dresses does say and affect how they act. Dress like a civil servant and you’re more likely to have a better attitude. Dress like a commando…

  • Pete Malloy

    @Shawn look at what is posted here. As long as it is anti cop it gets posted. This is the fringe. The posters may not be, but the individuals who run the site are nothing but anti cop. There is no content except to bash police officers.
    @t we’re on the same side, but there comes a moment where you have to stop being a police officer and look at it from the outside. Dorner was an idiot, but a lot of people heard his voice, so how have we failed as an institution that’s led people to believe his bullshit

  • Shawn

    @pete

    That I’ll grant to some extent. Actually, I see a lot of anti-law more than anything else. But cops do create a lot of fuel for anti-police sentiment.

    Your comment to T is one of the most accurate. I am often accused of not being able to see things from the police perspective. But I have seen a massive inability to see or care about the citizens perspective. In police shooting events, we hear all about the police perspective. But those same cops can be totally blind as to why shooting innocent people isn’t acceptable. Those of us who aren’t criminals can easily see ourselves in the innocents position.
    And ultimately, one employs the other and that is the perspective that matters most. How are cops to get the resources and support they need if they antagonize the source of that support?

  • Shawn

    @Pete

    “Dorner was an idiot, but a lot of people heard his voice, so how have we failed as an institution that’s led people to believe his bullshit”

    I’m not so sure it is as much people believed his BS, so much that he was hunting cops who for one reason or another has pissed people off. That shooting at innocents during the hunt was not be best PR event in the story.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    ***POLICE OFFICER RAPES A THREE MONTH OLD INFANT AND A ONE YEAR OLD CHILD!***

    When you see common sense, t., underoath, psosgt and all the other shills spew their boot-licking propaganda here on Cop Block, remember, THIS IS WHO THEY ARE, THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DEFEND!

    Wichita KS police officer Officer Joseph T. McGill, 28, was convicted today of committing a sexual act on a 3-month-old child and a 1-year-old child. Officer McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 in an unrelated case to sexual battery while on duty as a police officer and was sentenced to three years probation. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in November 2010 and February 2011. The judge set sentencing for March 1. — http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/24/2649372/former-police-officer-convicted.html

    Training Cops to Lie: What’s at stake when police use deception to obtain evidence? Their career and the case. Val Van Brocklin writes about the state of the law and preparing officers for this complex and critical arena. — http://www.officer.com/article/10233095/training-cops-to-lie-pt-1

    “Gentlemen, let’s get this thing straight, once and for all. The policeman is not here to create disorder. The policeman is here to preserve disorder.” — Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    @pete

    Not all of us hate cops…Just the dirty ones

    Even the courts are seeing the the bullshit LEO’s try to pull on a daily bassis….

    you ask “so how have we failed as an institution that’s led people to believe his bullshit”

    It’s lack of RESPECT for the public you serve… we see on youtube everyday……

  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    t. says:
    February 20, 2013 at 9:49 am
    Pete: We are actually looking at some sort external vest as well. And exactly for the reason you mention. We lose guys all the time to back injury and 100′s of thousands of taxpayer dollars go to pay for surgery every year. But even then, we will most likely end up with a “uniform” vest carry that looks identical to the shirt. But even the load bearing or “throw over” vests are a far cry from a tactical vest.

    The mall don’t offer insurance? Did you tell them you have 17 years in?…

    You loose guys all the time because of not being in shape(not the shape of a pear)No foot races anymore…you just run the guy over with ‘ur car.

  • BJ

    @ t.

    By your answer I’m assuming you are contending that the officer had the right to seize and search her phone due to exigent circumstances that were created by the video being perishable. I’m not understanding that contention as I don’t believe exigent circumstances existed to begin with. To my understanding exigent circumstances means an emergency situation that requires prompt action. In this case: 1) There were multiple witnesses from whom the police could have obtained statements 2) The videographer stated the video was being streamed live to the internet demonstrating she had no intention of deleting it or possibly even the ability to do so. 3) She was an innocent bystander with no involvement with the suspect or event in question so she had no incentive to delete the footage. 4) The footage she shot would have little to no bearing in obtaining a conviction. With that said, can you really say that seizing her phone was an emergency situation or even necessary to begin with for a misdemeanor charge or do you think this officer overreacted because she dared to say no to his request?

    Oh, and yes, she was strong armed. The officer snatched the personal property of his victim with the intent to deprive her of her property.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Glenn

    ***POLICE OFFICER RAPES A THREE MONTH OLD INFANT AND A ONE YEAR OLD CHILD!***

    When you see common sense, t., underoath, psosgt and all the other shills spew their boot-licking propaganda here on Cop Block, remember, THIS IS WHO THEY ARE, THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR, AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DEFEND!

    Wichita KS police officer Officer Joseph T. McGill, 28, was convicted today of committing a sexual act on a 3-month-old child and a 1-year-old child. Officer McGill pleaded guilty in January 2012 in an unrelated case to sexual battery while on duty as a police officer and was sentenced to three years probation. Those charges stemmed from separate incidents in November 2010 and February 2011. The judge set sentencing for March 1. — http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/24/2649372/former-police-officer-convicted.html

  • t.

    Badge: yeah, I run over with my car…in the mall. Brilliant you are not. The only video of it ive seen is the little bit of them talking.

    As I said earlier…folks lie. She said she was streaming it. Doesn’t mean she is and even more of a reason for her to want to share it.

    There are several “expections” concerning evidence. If there is PC to believe that there is evidence within that device, he can and should seize it. Witness statements are great, get those too. But that is not really germane to the larger discussion. I guess its a hazard of the practice of taping everything. Now this case appears to be nothing to serious. But think if someone was assaulting you. And there was a their party filming it. When the police arrive would you not want them to secure evidence of the crime?

    The reason you seize it right then is the perishable nature of it. As pointed out, a judge can decide if it should be searched (as in when a warrant is applied for). The problem is…that once something gets away….its next to impossible to go back again and get it.

  • Don

    It’s time citizens stopped roaming the streets alone. It’s time Citizens put a game plan together. It’s time we collectivly protect each individual. It’s time we create codes, hand signs, and tactics to counter there unlawful acts. Instead of walking down the street alone, go with groups of 5 people of 5 groups. Bring cameras, and plastic cuffs as well as any non lethal tool you can use for defence.
    If a confrontation occurs, the gorup that is being confronted becomes the Co-operative group, and the reamining 4 become offensive and defensive groups. You make sure that you use your numbers to your advantage. The coop group acts as decoy while the other groups use tactics to overwhelm/neutralize any threats. Even if we must Detain them for a short amount of time. Do you understand what Im saying guys? No more of this limbo, commenting and do nothing about it. We have to take responsibility for ourselves and eachother. It’s time we put ounr heads together, and brainstorm some ideas, tactics, recruitment, structure, codes, etc Whomever wants to join my new Delta group, email me at [email protected]
    The password is DawnofDefense
    You must include the password somewhere to get a response.

  • RadicalDude

    @Don:
    You mean when the police commit crimes that people should step in and do a citizens arrest? I have thought of that, I wonder how it would play out. For instance, the Oscar Grant incident, with all those people, what if the bystanders had subdued Mehserle and the other criminal gang members?

  • RadicalDude

    @Don:
    I agree that “activists” should be more active and do more, I read that the number one fear of cops is being sued, and being shot is #2.
    I know the court system is biased and corrupt, but I really think people should sue the police whenever their rights are violated. I sued the cops before, and I litigated myself, and I won. I didn’t have a lawyer represent me in the matter, they had a whole team of lawyers, if you are determined you can do it.

  • certain

    Most cops don’t have automatic weapons? LOL, well, most mall-cops don’t anyway. You really wouldn’t know what the real cops have.

  • t.

    @certianly goofy: Do you think it’s like some bad movies or something? Automatic weapons? Every officer? We have (last I knew) 5 UMP45′s, 1 for each SWAT team and 2 spares. We carry “semi-auto” pistols and currently just shotguns but “semi-auto” patrol rifles are coming for some. Not like in the movies where guy pull out full auto AR’s or MP 5′s. just ain’t so. What a joke that you even think such nonsense…let alone believe and repeat it.

  • t.

    Dude: That’s why I advocate strongly for officers to sue those the file false comolainats. I successfully sued 2. They didn’t have much, but afterwards had a lot less.

  • steve

    dear glenn just quit.